DUBLIN — The 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic has been selected as the winner of Best Festival/Event Experience (under 50,000 people) at the 2017 Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the efforts and success of the college football game between Boston College and Georgia Tech at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish Tourism Industry Awards recognize innovation and excellence and reward the best operators within Irish Tourism.

“We are honored to accept this Irish Tourism Industry Award and believe that it is a testament to our efforts in making this event ‘Much More Than a Game’”, said Padraic O’Kane, CEO of Corporate.ie.

As the third American college football game hosted in Dublin in five years, the Aer Lingus College Football Classic lived up to its slogan of “Much More Than A Game”. Game week was packed with fan gatherings, business networking and academic symposiums, ensuring that all 40,562 spectators – including 20,000 travelers predominantly from the United States – had plenty to do while in Ireland.

“This award would not have been possible without the full support of Boston College and Georgia Tech, and the continued support of our many sponsors and partners such as Aer Lingus, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Dublin City Council, Dublin Town, Dublin Airport, Enterprise Ireland, Failte Ireland, IDA Ireland and Tourism Ireland,” said John Anthony, President and CEO of Anthony Travel.

The American football players were also provided an outstanding experience that went far beyond the football game. Both teams enjoyed local attractions, entertainment and cuisine while in Dublin, along with interaction with fans during the pep rally at Trinity College Dublin. Each university’s 150-member band and cheer squad, as well as six high school football teams, enjoyed similar experiences, including participating in a welcome parade that drew crowds throughout Dublin City Centre the Thursday before the game.

About the Irish Tourism Industry Awards
The Irish Tourism Industry Awards showcase Ireland’s most successful and innovative tourism products, services and experiences. They were organized and presented by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), Ireland’s business group for tourism, together with ITIC’s industry members, Fáilte Ireland, and Tourism Ireland. For more information on the awards, please visit: www.irishtourismindustryawards.ie

About IAEL
Anthony Travel and Corporate.ie partnered together to create the Aer Lingus College Football Classic through the formation of Irish American Events Limited (IAEL). Through this new entity, IAEL aims to bring American college football to Ireland every two years to promote Ireland as a travel destination and provide business leader networking opportunities between corporate Ireland and U.S. Building on the success of the 2016 game, IAEL is already in extensive talks with multiple universities for future games. For more information on IAEL, please visit CollegeFootballIreland.com.